FarmPolicy

July 25, 2014

Planting Flexibility- Base Acre Restrictions

Categories: Farm Bill

A recent Congressional Research Service report noted that, “In 2005, a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge to U.S. farm commodity programs raised questions concerning the use of the planting flexibility restriction under existing trade commitments. Discussion on whether to extend the restriction in the next farm bill thus will have an important trade policy aspect as well as domestic market considerations.”

I. Base Acre Issues
II. Crop Insurance

I. Base Acre Issues

Philip Brasher, writing in Sunday’s Des Moines Register, reported that, “Farmers who grow federally subsidized crops such as field corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton can’t convert land to fruit or vegetable production, even for only one year, unless they permanently give up their right to collect federal payments on that acreage.

“[Iowa farmer Gary Boysen] was willing to do that on land that he owns. But to expand his fruit-and-vegetable acreage he needs to rent land, and that would mean persuading a landlord to take the acreage out of the federal farm program. That isn’t likely to happen.

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